Is Reading in a Restaurant Rude?

Is Reading in Restaurants Rude?

Whenever I'm in a restaurant alone, I pull out a book or magazine. I may or may not read it, but I feel more comfortable looking occupied. So I was surprised to see a commenter on The Telegraph lashing out about a woman engrossed in a book before curtain time at a London play. "I find this even worse than the sight of people reading a book at a public dining table," she said. "Often travelling on business for years I had to dine alone — but I would never have brought a book, or worse, business papers to the table."

She used two Ls in traveling, so she's probably not American. Is this an American thing? Like eating lunch at our desks, do we see nothing wrong with reading in restaurants while the rest of the world gawks in dismay? Or am I in the minority to think it's OK? Cafes aside, does reading in a restaurant ever seem rude to you?

Source: Flickr User an untrained eye

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